How to Write Essays – Tutorial #1 – How To Start an Essay

We have all been there… getting an essay back and it was not the mark that you thought it should have been. These series of tutorials I will be doing will provide the base to writing a great essay.

For a good essay you should = 

– Present your arguments in a well-organised way.

– Demonstrate that you have engaged with your course/ chosen topic.

– Research and analyse your subject thoroughly and critically.

How Should I Go About Starting it?

– Think about which essay title you would like to do. One that may be easier, or challenging, or on a particular topic you enjoy – choose the one that suits you and that you feel confident writing about.

– Collect material for your essay such as your lecture notes, library books, information from websites or journals – anything that you find relevant.

– Write a brief plan, collecting your ideas into one place.

– Then try writing the first draft – it does not have to be by any means perfect because you can edit it later.

– Leave it to the day or a few days after to re-read your first draft as you will have had a break from it and will more likely spot any mistakes. I always get one of my family members to read my essays through because sometimes they spot things that need changing that you cannot.

– Carry out a final check – checking grammar, punctuation, lay out, referencing.

– Once you are happy with your final product – print and submit!

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10 Tips on How to Write a Good Essay Introduction

Writing the introduction of an essay can be really difficult as it is a very crucial paragraph. These tips are designed to help you write your introduction so your essay becomes smooth sailing!

1-      Try to start with a sentence that immediately captures your reader’s attention. The introduction is the initial impression for the reader so by engaging them from the start they will continue reading your essay with a positive mind-set.

2-      Check that your introduction leads into your thesis (what your argument is going to be).

3-      Try not to ramble, making it a lot longer than necessary. A clear, concise introduction should be (depending on what your argument is) around three sentences long.

4-      Provide some background information on the topic you are going to discuss in your essay.

5-      Inform your reader what your essay will be about.

6-      Stay focused and to the point, do not go off topic.

7-      Do not use statements that overgeneralise such as ‘everybody knows that…’.

8-      Prior to writing your introduction look at your plan, this will make your essay well-structured from start to finish.

9-      Relate back to the question.

10-   Do not be vague! The reader/ examiner wants to see that you can answer the question so don’t think that a statement would be too obvious to put in your introduction (this also applies to the rest of your paragraphs in your essay).